In the 1950s, after large-scale cinema and films about great historical figures in the post-Stalinist era, cinema turned to "simply" people, for whom history is only the background of daily life, those who encounter and solve (or do not solve) the small (but also possibly large) routine problems.
The cinema got interested not in the turning points in heroes’ life but in their everyday life, environment, relationship with the people around them. In relation to this new type of films, the already proven system of genres turned out to be powerless, and the genre category borrowed from literature once again - “film story” - actively established itself.
The main criteria for belonging to it were outlined, seemingly unremarkable everyday life, the lives of small people, stories told without pathos and excessive drama. However, the transitional period passed, the cinema went its own way, the film story did not get the status of a genre.
Though, Ilo Ghlonti's film "Why Are We Together" might be mostly characterized by this genre. Yet, the film has the potential for a dramatic conflict, and it becomes clear for the audience from the very first minutes - father saves his son from the "clutches" of the club's guards with the help of his friend, a former arm companion. In the car, the father and son talk about this very incident - the loss of the phone in the club, which Temo's son, Gio, is accused of stealing (and then returning). Father wants to clarify the situation, Gio denies the theft. The conversation takes place in a calm tone (as the audience will see later, this is the general tone of the film) and soon the audience forgets, or does not forget, but does not realize that this topic will have a continuation.
All the more, as the acquaintance of the family continues, the viewer is immersed in their everyday life, environment. We learn that Temo fought, probably in Abkhazia; currently he was left with no money; debts are a routine; the only hope is the shop, which he has to sell in order to send his son abroad to study; however, suddenly the shop's money is going in a completely different direction. We also learn that Temo's wife is dead and father and son live alone. They live separately, but as an extended family they have an elderly father, an English teacher mother, a brother who always rides a bicycle, we also get to know Temo's friends.
It is these relationships – everyday life, as if very familiar, but not banal - that create the dramatic axis of the film, capture the attention and interest of the audience - sometimes we laugh, sometimes we smile, sometimes we shake our heads sadly, and only in the fortieth minute of the film appears the only plot line that could serve as the axis of a dramatic conflict which could have turned the film into a drama: the robbery accused for Giorgi, which is not helped by the denial of the victim, nor by the high position of Temo's friend, if only to show the "way" and "cover" the case with money. Only in these episodes does the film "turns up the voice," anger and despair appear in Gio’s (Ivane Ghlonti) eyes. However, the main thing for the authors is neither the feeling of injustice, nor the style of police actions. They make neither a criminal film nor a political satire. For them, the main thing is the relationship between father and son: resentment in the son’s eyes when he encounters his father's mistrust; the father's doubt and hesitation, when he cannot make a choice between the victim and the credibility of his grandson's words; regret and pangs of conscience for not trusting the child.
But even these episodes can't create drama, I got the impression that the authors don't even try to do it. They don't dramatize completely serious situations and feelings. There are small life troubles, maybe even big ones, but the authors basically try to create not a drama out of it, but "real life."
"Real life" because it is not concentrated, intensified to impress. The camera seemed to be accidentally turned on here and at this time, it seemed to accidentally watch the dialogues of father and son, grandmother and grandson, friends. This randomness is, of course, illusory, but as a whole it creates an atmosphere of the film that makes us feel a natural empathy for the film characters. It makes the characters of the film: Temo, Gio, Marina, Kote, Sandro, Ani, Zhora, Giga - like neighbors who, right here, next to you, take you by the hand, whose life goes on before your eyes and you seem to be a part of it.
It might not be easy to transfer real stories and characters to the screen, more played by the prototypes themselves. It is difficult to refrain from the "game," and to bring the charm of naturalness to the audience. From this point of view, Temo (Levan Ghlonti) should be mentioned. Unlike him, the non-professional actor Ivane Ghlonti has to "play" himself as well as the character: he plays the role of his own peer, but it is still a role and a reconstruction of feelings that are not his own. And it must be said that he copes with this task perfectly.
And another character of the film - grandmother, mother, Marina (Marina Kubaneishvili), who with her immediacy, natural humor, sharp individuality becomes the center of this family and even the entire film. The jury of the Tbilisi International Film Festival could not ignore her attractiveness and she won a special prize for the best actress.

Manana Lekborashvili
PHD in Art Criticism (Film Studies),
Associate Professor

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